Media Release - Catalyst funding returns to the Australia Council

Museums Galleries Australia welcomes Commonwealth funding changes as a platform for building better support of culture, the arts and innovation

Museums Galleries Australia welcomes the decisions by Federal Arts Minister Mitch Fifield that he will continue to support the broader cultural sector as well as return the majority of the Australia Council’s grant funding for artists and their support organisations. The Minister’s decision to expand the research focus of the department to include the arts is also warmly welcomed.

“While it is terrific that the Australia Council funding has largely been returned, we are pleased to see in addition that the Minister has understood our argument that Catalyst also provided funding opportunities for cultural programs which the Australia Council cannot”, said President Frank Howarth.

Alex Marsden, national director, added that through Catalyst they had been able to secure their first project grant from the Commonwealth in over a decade. “Museums Galleries Australia is the national association that represents all sizes and types of museums and galleries, provides services and sets standards – it has long been a frustrating anomaly that we have had no access to the types of opportunities offered to other arts organisations.”

The $2 million retained in the Catalyst Fund for projects to support initiatives in the broader cultural sector, including galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM), is a platform for different investments in Australia’s innovation and creativity. “This is a start – we can’t and shouldn’t go back to ignoring the opportunities. Given declining operational funding and never-ending efficiency dividends, there have to be ways for this part of the cultural sector to grow, experiment and innovate as well.”

Howarth concludes “Step one is rearranging the funding pie – step two must be to grow it”.

Frank Howarth 0419 492 201
Alex Marsden 0478 881 091

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